I am in Boston attending the MIT Emerging Technologies Conference which brings together some of the leading scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs in the world to discuss what's coming down the road in technology. Just left a session with Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab and Dean Kamen entrepreneur and inventor of the Segway. Both talked about the power of technology to solve many of the intractable problems of the developing world. In fact both are now immersed in such projects: Negroponte to develop and distribute low cost PC's ($100) to students and Kamen to provide clean drinking water to areas through a new affordable, portable device he has invented.
Both discussed the huge obstacles they face in getting the staus quo to buy-in to these innovations. But both also said that impossible wasn't part of their programs.